Monthly Archives: October 2006

morning prayer

Lord God, almighty & everlasting father, you have brought me in safety to this new day: Preserve me with your mighty power, that I may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.


thoughts about last night

A blog that I enjoy reading is the Jesus Creed blog

The author / blogger / professor — writes on a wide-range of topics.

In one of his posts — he wrote this:
“For me, the most important thing about a happy marriage is that husbands and wives be best friends â€â€? with no serious rival to that friendship. Kris and I have been married for 32 years; we were grade school sweethearts and we started “officiallyâ€? dating when we were sophomores in high school, and we are best friends and have been our entire marriage. This is the most important reason why we love one another… Because she is my best friend and I am hers.”

I can so relate to that. Now my wife, Michelle and I were not grade school sweethearts by any means. We did meet while we were fairily young however (when we both were 20-year-olds at the University of Minnesota). I can honestly say that she is my best friend. I enjoy being with her more than any other, I enjoy conversations with her, talking theology together, praying together, laughing together, just simply Being with her.

Now that we are in Los Angeles, and at a new church / ministry — ‘Kairos’, we have so much more time and opportunity to do ministry ‘together’, and we both absolutely love that, and we have so needed that as a family.

A couple of weeks ago, Michelle volunteered to have a meeting for church over here, and so we crammed 30 people in our living room and dining room, and she made supper for all of us. We go to our staff meetings together, we meet people together, we go to small group together (we call them canvas groups out here – which I will explain sometime).

Anyway, last night we had canvas group at Eugene & Eun Chu Kim’s house. They are a great couple. Here is somone who has Ph.D., has a great job at a pretty prestigious local university (Pepperdine), but has chosen to live in one of the rougher areas of Hollywood to start up an educational resource center for the poor. (I asked him a while back about his neighborhood, and he said, ‘well at night, we have prostitues walk past our street to the north and drug dealers hang out at the street corner two blocks south of us.)

I don’t know if we have met a couple who has more of a heart for the poor, and yet at the same time is as passionate as they are about the gospel, and ministering to people’s spiritual needs.

Someone asked me last night at this group of about 15-20 adults / kids / neighbors, what is the one thing that I am enjoying about being out in LA more than anything so far, and without hesitating I said — just the opportunity for my family and I to be in ministry together. I absolutely love it!

As I looked around the room, and saw Michelle to my right praying with 3 other gals, and thought about how just 2 hours earlier she hustled all of us out of our house a 1/2 hour early so she could join Eun Chu, and a few others in prayer, to pray for our group last night — before it got started.

I looked to my left and saw Caleb who was talking on the couch with Eric (one of our main worship leaders out here) and Dee (a local muscian and song-writer). They were talking theology, music, life etc.

I looked straight ahead and saw Elisabeth talking with Audrey (Eric’s wife who is on staff with Kairos) and Kristie (who was involved in the same church (The Rock) back in Minnesota.

It blessed me simply to be there last night. The singing was a blessing, the scripture passage we went over (Acts 5:17-42) really ministered to my soul for various reasons, but best of all it was simply seeing my family in the mix — seeing them talk, laugh, pray, share from their heart — simply being WITH THEM in this crazy adventure out here!

That made for an amazing night.


Caleb – going surfing?

Caleb, really wants to learn how to surf out here in L.A.
Personally, going out in that cold ocean, not knowing what is lurking under the water…. is not my ideas of a good time. Caleb seems undeterred by my attitude however.
We were driving home the other day, and saw a garage-sale, and found this wet-suit for Caleb — for $8 !

He was so excited. We’ll let you know that day he goes out and learns how to surf.

2006-10-20-Caleb--wet-suit.jpg


homelessness

Being in L.A. you see many, many, many homeless people. Your heart goes out to them because you know a good number of them are really suffering from not only a poverty of the checkbook, but a poverty of the soul. In addition to knowing that many homeless people are suffering from psychological / emotional issues — that many times go untreated.
Yesterday, however, it struck me  deeper than normal as Caleb and I were coming home from soccer practice and pulled up to a stop-sign blocks from our house, and seeing a gal getting ready to got to sleep by ‘making her bed’ for the night (which by the looks of it was an dirty, very old, army sleeping bag). At another intersection which was extremely busy (Melrose & Fairfax I believe), there was a homeless guy in the middle of the street shouting obscenities at cars & hitting them if they got close, and almost getting hit himself. Then this morning, dropping the kids off at school — seeing a person sleeping just 1/2 block away from the school entrance on a make-shift bed…

2006-10-13-homeless-bed.jpg
by God’s grace I pray that this ministry out here, can help physcially, mentally, emotionally and most of all spiritually — these very-hurting people.


they can take themselves lightly. . .

A friend of mine (John), sent this quote to me by Chesteron, and I really liked it.

It is good to remember to not take yourself too seriously.

2006-10-13 angel-left.jpg

G.K. Chesterton said:
Angels fly because of they can take themselves lightly. . .
Pride is the downward drag of all things into an easy solemnity. . .
It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light. Satan fell by the force of gravity.
So we sit perhaps in a starry chamber of silence, while the laughter of the heavens is too loud for us to hear.
Joy… is the gigantic secret of the Christian.

strongest dad in the world

great video at the end of the article….
————
Strongest Dad in the World [From Sports Illustrated, By Rick Reilly]
I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans. Work nights to pay for their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots. But compared with Dick Hoyt, I suck.Eighty-five times he’s pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in marathons. Eight times he’s not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars–all in the same day.
Dick’s also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. on a bike. Makes taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?And what has Rick done for his father? Not much–except save his life.This love story began in Winchester, Mass., 43 years ago, when Rick was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.He’ll be a vegetable the rest of his life;” Dick says doctors told him and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. “Put him in an institution.”But the Hoyts weren’t buying it. They noticed the way Rick’s eyes followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was anything to help the boy communicate. “No way,” Dick says he was told. “There’s nothing going on in his brain.””Tell him a joke,” Dick countered . They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a lot was going on in his brain.Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? “Go Bruins!” And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, “Dad, I want to do that.”Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described “porker” who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he tried. “Then it was me who was handicapped,” Dick says. “I was sore for two weeks.”

That day changed Rick’s life. “Dad,” he typed, “when we were running, it felt like I wasn’t disabled anymore!”

And that sentence changed Dick’s life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.

“No way,” Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren’t quite a single runner, and they weren’t quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then they found a way to get into the race officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the qualifying time for Boston the Following year.

Then somebody said, “Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?”

How’s a guy who never learned to swim and hadn’t ridden a bike since he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick tried.

Now they’ve done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii. It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don’t you think?

Hey, Dick, why not see how you’d do on your own? “No way,” he says. Dick does it purely for “the awesome feeling” he gets seeing Rick with a cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.

This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best time’? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992–only 35 minutes off the world record, which, in case you don’t keep track of these things, happens to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the time.

“No question about it,” Rick types. “My dad is the Father of the Century.”

And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries was 95% clogged. “If you hadn’t been in such great shape,” one doctor told him, you probably would’ve died 15 years ago.” So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other’s life.

Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass., always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father’s Day.

That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy. “The thing I’d most like,” Rick types, “is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once.”

Here’s the video


How can you be sure this is God’s will?

Have you ever thought about the question: How can I be sure this is God’s will? How can I be confident that this (whatever ‘this’ would be…. this job, this person to date/marry, this circumstance, this type of toothpaste to buy, this anything…) is the thing that God wants me to pursue, buy, take time for, etc.

Maybe for some of you — you never think about it. For others (maybe the OCD people in the crowd), you do think about those kind of things (a lot). Personally, I think many who follow Christ, at some time or another can ask themselves that question.
Not only can many ask the question, but Christians can all too frequently answer that question by saying things like: ‘I am confident that God told me to do this’ (again for ‘this’ — fill in the blank). Or ‘God showed me that this is what he is leading me to do’, or ‘I just know that this is God’s will’.
Now, I do not want to (and cannot) judge whether a person has really heard from God, however in my gut I honestly think a couple of things. One is that I think that Christians hear from God that clearly, less often than they think they do. And secondly when someone says that, they have instantly lifted themselves 6 feet off of the ground of contradiction. How can you challenge someone who says that. Can you say to them — ‘well, God might have told you that, but God is wrong’.

Maybe many of you don’t think about these kind of things, but I do — and it bothers me at times when people say these things.

Well anyway, I read an interesting quote relating to ‘God’s will’ this week. This was a response that a pastor gave to someone who was asking this question about God’s will, relating to his church raising some money for a building they are going to buy in Manhatten.

This is how he answered…

“When Kathy and I came to NYC 16 years ago to plant Redeemer, we were asked the same skeptical questions in almost exactly the same words. To our amazement (and presumably the amazement of everyone else!), Redeemer has become much more than even our most ambitious designs and goals for it.

And yet, when we were asked, “Are you sure this is God’s will?â€? we used to reply: “No, not totally.â€? When people blinked in surprise I would continue: “The only things I am 100% sure are God’s will are those things written in the Scripture. In all other plans we have to pray, get counsel, rely on what wisdom we have, check and re-check our motives, gain consensus (if possible) from everyone you know well around youâ€â€?and then move out in the direction you think God is leading. Only time will tell what God’s will is for sure. Redeemer became more than we had expected and yet in many respects it took shapes that we could never have envisioned at the beginning. God continually ‘red pencils’ even the most godly and wise ministry plans. Soâ€â€?can I be sure the Vision we are laying out is God’s will? Not in every respect. I’m sure that at the end of the journey things will look somewhat different from what we are expecting now. But I am sure that it is God’s will for us to set out on this journey together.”

Well said pastor, well said indeed.